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October 30, 2009

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Karl Kurtz

I finally got around to reading "Fair, Balanced...and Dead" and agree with Tim's review of it. I thought the evocation of Sacramento and the California Capitol culture was excellent and, mostly, sparing in the kind of cynicism that fiction writers about politics normally engage in. A good sense of place is a key ingredient of good mystery novels, and Swatt certainly has it for the corner of 10th and L in Sacramento. Would someone who doesn't know the California capital well enjoy this novel as much as Tim and I did? I'm not sure.

The climax of the novel is cleverly constructed, making it almost believable that the bad guys, who are supposedly sophisticated political operatives, would come as unglued as they do, not suspecting that the cameras are running as they fight to implicate each other.

Altogether, a satisfying and fun read. Thanks, Tim, for bring it to the attention of The Thicket!

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